S-TEC and Chelton Flight Systems Acquired in Management Buyout

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MINERAL WELLS, TX – Genesys Aerosystems Group, Inc. announced last week that it has acquired Chelton Flight Systems, Inc. and S-TEC Corporation, previously doing business as Cobham Avionics, from Cobham in a management buyout.

Genesys Aerosystems was formed by Roger Smith, President, and General Manager of the two acquired companies, Rick Price and Gordon Pratt, co-founders of Chelton Flight Systems, and Tammy Crawford, Director of Finance, for the purpose of acquiring the businesses. Key customers include AgustaWestland, Airbus Military, Air Medical Group Holdings, Bell Helicopter, Carson Helicopters, Embraer, Grob Aircraft, Sikorsky, Textron AirLand, and commercial, military, and government fleets around the world.

Chelton Flight Systems, originally founded in 1997, developed the world’s first FAA-certified synthetic vision flight display system and GPS/WAAS navigator and has grown to become a leader in integrated cockpit avionics systems for special-mission aircraft. Key technologies include synthetic vision with three-dimensional highway-in-the-sky navigation, integrated flight management and hazard alerting, and ultra-compact, highly ruggedized sensors that provide ultimate customer benefits of increased safety, improved dispatch rates, mission flexibility, and seamless future growth. FAA-approved for all classes of aircraft, the company’s uniquely customizable open-architecture systems dramatically reduce integration costs and schedules for both OEM and retrofit applications. Chelton Flight Systems products have been certified on over 700 different aircraft types.

S-TEC Corporation, founded in 1978, offers a full line of autopilots for airplanes and helicopters. From low-cost analog wing levelers to sophisticated, digital, three-axis systems with Flight Director and envelope protection, S-TEC has FAA certification for nearly 1,000 aircraft types and has delivered over 40,000 autopilot systems. The company’s new HeliSAS brings digital, full-authority autopilot technology to the market in a package weighing an unprecedented 15 lbs. Available as a stability augmentation system only or with all autopilot modes, HeliSAS dramatically enhances safety for light single- and twin-engine helicopters.

“We are a dynamic and growing company,” says Smith. “We will continue to support our customers with state-of-the-art technology, agile development, excellent quality, and superb product support. The name is changing but the people and our commitment to our vision are not.”

For more information, call 817-215-7600 or visit www.genesys-aerosystems.com.

Source: www.genesys-aerosystems.com/pressrelease.html, released 4/16/14

FAA Completes Nationwide Equipment Installation for NextGen Aircraft Tracking System

Earlier this week, the Federal Aviation Administration announced the completion of a nationwide infrastructure upgrade that will enable air traffic controllers to track aircraft with greater accuracy and reliability, while giving pilots more information in the cockpit. This upgrade is a key improvement in the Next Generation Air Transportation System.

nextgen_blog“This upgrade is an important step in laying the foundation for the NextGen system, which provides controllers a much more precise view of the airspace, gives pilots much more awareness and information, and as a result strengthens the safety and efficiency of our system,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This state-of-the-art satellite system is already providing controllers with visibility in places not previously covered by radar.”

The nationwide installation of the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) radio network supports a satellite-based surveillance system that tracks aircraft with the help of GPS. This provides more accurate aircraft location information than the current radar system.

NextGen refers to a set of initiatives being implemented by the FAA in collaboration with the aviation community to ensure that the United States has the safest, most efficient airspace possible for decades to come. In addition to ADS-B, NextGen improvements are already delivering benefits that include more efficient air traffic procedures that save time and fuel and reduce emissions.

“The installation of this radio network clears the way for air traffic controllers to begin using ADS-B to separate equipped aircraft nationwide,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said. “It will also provide pilots flying aircraft equipped with the proper avionics with traffic information, weather data and other flight information.”

Of the 230 air traffic facilities across the country, 100 are currently using this system to separate traffic. It is expected to be connected and operating at all 230 facilities by 2019. All aircraft operating in controlled airspace must be equipped with ADS-B Out avionics that broadcast the plane’s location, by Jan. 1, 2020.

With the upgraded surveillance and broadcast system and aircraft equipped with ADS-B Out transponders, aircraft positions on controller screens update almost continuously, compared to every 4.7 seconds or longer with radar.

ADS-B also enables more accurate tracking of airplanes and airport vehicles on runways and taxiways, increasing safety and efficiency. The new system significantly improves surveillance capability in areas with geographic challenges like mountains or over water. Airplanes equipped with ADS-B In, which is not currently mandated, will give pilots information through cockpit displays about location in relation to other aircraft, bad weather and terrain, and temporary flight restrictions.

In addition to the operational benefits of ADS-B, each one of the 634 ground stations installed by Exelis of McLean, Va., is substantially smaller than a radar installation – resulting in less impact to the environment and less cost to maintain.

Source: Federal Aviation Administration

It’s Time for “Forms” Standardization! – Vendor Audits

It’s time for “Forms” standardization!

How much time do you or someone else at your company spend filling out audit forms and questionnaires relating to quality assurance or certifications and so on?

Lost In PaperworkWhether it be a requirement for FAA, ISO, or some other regulatory agency, the distribution and completion of forms has turned into an everyday full-time position for some companies. So where does it top off?  How many more QA or QC forms can we generate or think of?  It would be hypocritical for me not to mention that SEA has its own set of vendor qualification forms that we ask vendors to complete and return. As much as we try to follow a standard, the reality is that there is no overall standard for these forms.

In this month’s edition of Helicopter Maintenance, author Larry Jackson writes about the challenges of vendor audit paperwork and proposes a generic FAA form that the entire aviation community can accept. Read the article to learn more and join Jackson’s cause to simplify Vendor Audit paperwork processes.

As the author Larry Jackson indicates, different forms in different formats being returned to a variety of companies and agencies in a variety of countries can be very time consuming after all is said and done.  Everyone knows the meaning and reason for these forms. Or, do we? I wonder sometimes if people even read the forms they submit or the responses they receive. As Jackson says, many of the questions some people are asking on these forms do not relate to the people they are asking them to. Electronic communication and impersonal correspondence have made it so easy for people to just send forms without knowing what they are asking for. Meanwhile, someone on the other end has to read 10-20 pages and figure out if and how to respond.

As stated in this article – “we can do a better job”. The “forms” standards and practices need to be updated and tweaked so we all can get back to doing our real jobs!

SOURCE: Jackson, Larry. “Vendor Audits – Is There a Better Answer?.” Helicopter Maintenance. www.helicoptermaintenancemagazine.com. April / May 2014: Pages 34-35.

 

Teledyne Controls Selects SEA for STC Development

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Teledyne Controls has selected SEA to develop a new FAA-STC for the installation of an Auxiliary Equipment Shelf in the Boeing 737NG. The shelf will support the installation of Teledyne’s Wireless GroundLink® System (WGL) in a fleet of 737-800 airplanes for an airline operator in China. The FAA-STC will also receive validation (VSTC) from the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) and is scheduled for completion in Q4 2014.

For more information on the Teledyne Wireless GroundLink® System:
http://www.teledyne-controls.com/productsolution/wglcomm/overview.asp

For more information on SEA’s Engineering Services: http://www.sea-engineering.com/